Major Goals for Community Outreach

Photo courtesy of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System Cares for Their Community

 

It’s safe to say the city of Salinas has played host to an eclectic mix of people and industries since it was established in 1874. For instance, did you know that the city of Salinas, California is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World”? This is due to its varied and large agricultural industry. What about the fact that Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck called Salinas his home town? He actually included this setting in many of the stories he wrote.

Also claiming this city as their home is the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare system. Whether it’s related to the healthcare they provide patients or a program they are looking to implement, the staff of Salinas Valley works tirelessly to make it a healthy place for their citizens.

 

Key Comforts

One of Salinas Valley’s main goals is providing healthcare accessibility to their community, especially ones who may be under or uninsured. This was the main catalyst for the system to incorporate a mobile medical vehicle into their arsenal of tools. On top of providing a variety of services including primary care, vaccinations, and health education they also employ a social worker on board to provide assistance with social services. Salinas Valley also partners with schools to provide immunizations for children, although the pandemic has limited this particular service. As Margaret D’Arrigo, Salinas Valley’s Healthcare Communications Project Manager explained, the vehicle not only helps serve the community, it also serves as an invaluable marketing tool to educate those who may not be familiar with Salinas Valley.

“We’re a system and we want to educate everyone on what we can offer them. The vehicle helps get our brand out there and shows people we are more than just a hospital. We also provide primary care, vaccinations, and we are big on providing health education and resources,” described Margaret D’Arrigo.

Dual exam rooms were a key feature the system wanted in the vehicle in order to accommodate a high volume of patients. Comforts such as an awning were also added to keep the patients comfortable while waiting outside and protected from unpredictable weather or the California sun. A weatherproof compartment with a monitor was also added, proving to be an invaluable tool in providing education on various topics to patients waiting to board the vehicle. While these were key features the organization wanted, one concern they had was keeping those driving comfortable.

“Comfort is key for our staff. If they like the vehicle, then they are willing to drive it. Everyone here keeps commenting on the vehicle’s design saying it’s easy to drive and very comfortable,” explained D’Arrigo.

 

COVID Throws a Curveball

Salinas Valley took delivery of their new vehicle and launched it into service in mid-January of 2020. Unfortunately, COVID put the brakes on their launch with the organization parking the vehicle for a period of time. During this downtime they were able to provide virtual visits until protocols could be put in place to ensure the safety of their staff and patients.

“We were parked for quite a while once COVID hit. We knew we needed to get back out because the need was growing for community health. We did have to change our policies a little to follow COVID guidelines but it is so worth it to be back out in the community helping those in need,” said D’Arrigo.

Before the vehicle was sidelined, Salinas Valley partnered up with agencies in the community to engage in different events. This included participating in health fairs and partnering with a local church food bank where they would provide medical services for those making food donations. The vehicle has also been a fixture at family resource centers. Families can enjoy a plethora of services at these centers including tax prep, various classes, full-time daycare, and more at no charge.

When speaking with D’Arrigo, she mentioned that one of the biggest health concerns they kept hearing from the community revolved around behavioral and mental health.

“One of the things I love about our vehicle is that we have a social worker on board and involved in the care. Patients not only get a medical check-up but social services as well. Linking these resources was important to us, especially in this community as there is a lot of mental illness,” explained D’Arrigo.

 

Your Reputation Proceeds You

When asked about her experience with LDV, D’Arrigo was brimming with enthusiasm. She said Salinas Valley visited other companies but none could compare to the durability, reputation, and family-like atmosphere LDV has cultivated within its culture.

“The service with LDV was unbelievable. If I needed anything, I received a quick response. The staff I worked with were completely accessible and I always had an answer to my question within minutes,” said D’Arrigo. 

On top of LDV’s track record, D’Arrigo also noted the wide variety of vehicles that LDV builds, as well as their quality and durability. While COVID is limiting Salinas on what they can do for now, D’Arrigo is excited about the future saying that the organization has visions for doing more with the vehicle. Their goal is to be visible in the community and as active and engaged as possible. They also want to expand people’s ideas of what they can do with the mobile medical vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System 

 

Are you inspired by what Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare has done for their community? Is 2021 the year your organization acquires a new mobile medical vehicle? Contact our sales team here at LDV to find out what you can start doing today to help your organization and community’s future.